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Reviews of digital broadcasting regs, standards

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister for Communications and Information Technology
Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Broadcasting

23 January 2008 Media Statement

Reviews of digital broadcasting regulation, and content standards

A review of digital broadcasting regulation in New Zealand is out now for public submissions and feedback, Broadcasting Minister Trevor Mallard and Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe said today.

Trevor Mallard also released a second public discussion paper, Broadcasting and New Digital Media: Future of Content Regulation.

"Content regulation currently only focusses on traditional broadcasting media, with different rules applying when that same content is provided via other new media platforms. This discussion paper considers whether these different approaches are still appropriate or whether some change is desirable," Trevor Mallard said.

The regulatory review paper, Digital Broadcasting: Review of Regulation, includes a discussion paper and research report, and looks at competition, standards and copyright in the areas of content, distribution and networks.

"Broadcasting is undergoing a period of significant upheaval world-wide, driven by converging digital technologies across broadcasting, film, telecommunications and the internet sectors. This convergence is resulting in new business models and new patterns of consumer behaviour. So this review of regulation is timely because internationally - as in New Zealand - the sectors have been regulated separately," Trevor Mallard said.

"Nothing is ruled in or ruled out at this stage. The review seeks views and offers some suggestions. Options may range from retaining the status quo with an emphasis on self-regulation, to updating or reforming the current regime."

David Cunliffe said the research report examined market trends in broadcasting, the international regulatory responses to those developments, and the threats and opportunities resulting from the growing convergence between traditional broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.

"The increasingly converged digital era offers opportunities for new forms of digital content and access to new markets; it is important that we address our future options now. Digital broadcasting is a pervasive and highly influential medium – not just for our national identity but also for New Zealand's economic transformation to a high-wage, export-led innovative country."

Feedback on both discussion papers is sought by 4 April 2008. It will then be analysed and if any regulatory change is proposed, further public consultation will be held on detailed options. The two discussion papers, the Review of Regulation research report and the related cabinet papers are on www.mch.govt.nz


ENDS

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